Nightmarish ride on the dilapidated ferry

- Biplav Maharjan, Salyan
Nightmarish ride on the dilapidated ferry

Dec 22, 2014-

Locals as well as other people travelling through the district have once again been adversely affected by the poor and intermittent service the dilapidated ferry at Rakam is providing in the district. As this only mode of transport to take vehicles and people across the Bheri river has fallen into disrepair, people have been compelled to take a ride on it with their fingers crossed.

People have become overly dependent on the ferry owing to the delay in completion of  the bridge over the Bheri river. Although the construction works on the bridge was started a decade ago, the project has made very little progress.  

Meanwhile, locals accuse the concerned authorities of operating the 30-year-old ferry despite the fact that it is in desperate need of repair.

“The ferry can just break down while crossing the river as the teeth of the gears which pulls the rope has broken down and it won’t be a surprise if the ferry sinks while carrying people and vehicles beyond its capacity,” said local Tirtha Dhakal.

It must be noted that the ferry had capsized last year while ferrying two freight trucks. Although there were no casualties, goods worth millions of rupees were destroyed in the incident “Travelling on the ferry has become a living nightmare,” said Chitra Khadka, a local businessman, adding that the ferry wobbles dangerously while crossing the river.

Adding that if the ferry sinks many people may die and property worth millions will be destroyed, Khadka appealed to the operators of the ferry to take into account the seriousness of the situation and also requested the government to make

arrangement for a new ferry at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a staff operating the ferry said its gearbox needs to be replaced urgently as it is not in good condition. Stating that the problems have arised in operating the ferry service due to the faulty gearbox, he added that they were compelled to operate the ferry as transportation along the Chhinchu-Jajarkot comes to a grinding halt every time the ferry breaks down. This results in dozens of vehicles being stranded in the middle of the road, affecting the movement of people and supply of food and other essentials to Jajarkot.   

Weighing 27 tonnes, the ferry can carry approximately 21 tonnes. However, after falling into disrepair, it has only been ferrying 15 tonnes. The District Road Office had started the ferry service in the year 1995.

Published: 23-12-2014 09:33

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